What Does “Fiat Best Practices” Mean?

Do read about git Knowing where to look is half the battle. The other resources are highly recommended by various people as well. Do commit early and often Git what Does “Fiat Best Practices” Mean? takes full responsibility for your data when you commit. If you fail to commit and then do something poorly thought out, you can run into trouble.

Additionally, having periodic checkpoints means that you can understand how you broke something. Well, I’m here to tell you that resisting this is ignorant. For a less formal usage, like say this document I let people see what really happened. See on undoing, fixing, or removing commits in git if you want to fix a particular problematic commit or commits, as opposed to attempting to locate lost data. When attempting to find your lost commits, first make sure you will not lose any current work.

The reflog is where you should look first and by default. It shows you each commit that modified the git repository. These are the most likely candidates for finding lost data. A dangling commit is a commit no longer reachable by any branch or tag. This can happen due to resets and rebases and are normal. SHA-1 will let you inspect them. The following command helps you visualize these dangling commits.

What Does “Fiat Best Practices” Mean?

Look for dots without children and without green labels. A dangling blob is a file that was not attached to a commit. This is often caused by git adds that were superceded before commit or merge conflicts. A dangling tree is a directory tree of files that was not attached to a commit. These are rarely interesting, and often caused by merge conflicts. Finally, you may have stashed the data instead of committing it and then forgotten about it.

Another option is that your commit is not lost. Perhaps the commit was just made on a different branch from what you remember. Using git log -Sfoo –all and gitk –all –date-order to try and hunt for your commits on known branches. Finally, you should check your backups, testing copies, ask the other people who have a copy of the repo, and look in other repos. Do backups Everyone always recommends taking backups as best practice, and I am going to do the same. However, you already may have a highly redundant distributed ad-hoc backup system in place! This is because essentially every clone is a backup.

Traditional backups are still appropriate, and clones do not save git configurations, the working directory and index, non-standard refs, or dangling objects anyway. A normal tarball, cp, rsync, zip, rar or similar backup copy will be a perfectly fine backup. Yes, of course git allows you to rewrite public history, but it is problematic for everyone and thus it is just not best practice to do so. Do choose a workflow Some people have called git a tool to create a SCM workflow instead of an SCM tool. There is some truth to this. I also implore managers who may be thinking of making specific workflow rules by fiat to remember that not all projects are identical, and rules that work on one project may not work on another.

What Does “Fiat Best Practices” Mean?

People who blather on about continuous integration, rolling deployment, and entirely independent feature changes that you can pick and choose between independently are absolutely correct, for their project! Where do important phases of development occur? Do you have work which often needs to be updated in multiple distinct long-lived branches? What happens when emergency patches are required? What is the lifecycle of a branch? See the following references for more information on branch workflows. However, also understand that everyone already has an implicit private branch due to their cloned repository: they can do work locally, do a git pull –rebase when they are done, perform final testing, and then push their work out.

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RELEASE branch for QA and polishing, master for features, specific to each released version. Other people have been very successful with many feature branches, integration branches, QA, and release branches. The importance of some of the questions I asked may not be immediately obvious. For example, how does having work which needs to be updated in multiple distinct long-lived branches affect branch workflow? Branch naming conventions are also often overlooked.

Who is allowed to publish to the master repository? What is the process between a developer finishing coding and the code being released to the end-user? Are there distinct groups that work on distinct sections of the codebase and only integrate at epochs? Is everyone inside the same administrative domain? See the following references for more information on distributed workflows.

However, even if you go for, say, a traditional corporate centralized development model, don’t forbid self-organized teams to create their own repositories for their own tactical reasons. Even having to fill out a justification form is probably too cumbersome. You should have already considered most of the issues when going over the branching and distributed workflow above, but less obviously, it may affect how and when you perform tagging, and specifically the name of the tag you use. At first glance, it is a no-brainer. When you release something you tag something, and of course I highly recommend this. However, tags should be treated as immutable once you push.

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Well, that only makes sense, you might think to yourself, but consider this: five minutes after everyone has signed off on the 2. 0 release, it has been tagged Frobber_Release_2. Another idea, use an internal tag name that is not directly derived from the version number that marketing wishes to declare to the outside world. Security model You might ask why security is not a top level item and is near the end of the workflow section. Well that is because in an ideal world your security should support your workflow not be an impediment to it.

For instance, did you decide certain branches should only have certain people being allowed to access it? Of course, security is more than access control. It is also assurance that what you release is what was written by the people it should be written by, and what was tested. Git provides you this for free, but certain formal users may wish to use signed tags.

Watch for signed pushes in a future version of git. Do divide work into repositories Repositories sometimes get used to store things that they should not, simply because they were there. Does this mean one per product, program, library, class? However, dividing stuff up later is annoying and leads to rewriting public history or duplicative or missing history. Dividing it up correctly beforehand is much better. If someone has access to a repository, they have access to the entire repo, all branches, all history, everything. If you need to compartmentalize read access, separate the compartments into different repositories.

This promotes sharing and code reuse, and is highly recommended. Git doesn’t handle large binary files ideally yet and large repositories can be slow. If you must commit them, separating them out into their own repository can make things more efficient. You will note that I have already recommended against rewriting public history. Well, there are times when doing that just makes sense.

What Does “Fiat Best Practices” Mean?

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One example might be a cache of pre-built binaries so that most people don’t need to rebuild them. Once you have divided, now you need to conquer. You can assemble multiple individual repositories into a superproject to group all of the concepts together to create your unified work. There are two main methods of doing this. Git submodules is the native git approach, which provides a strong binding between the superproject repository and the subproject repositories for every commit. This leads to a baroque and annoying process for updating the subproject. Do make useful commit messages Creating insightful and descriptive commit messages is one of the best things you can do for others who use the repository.

It lets people quickly understand changes without having to read code. When doing history archeology to answer some question, good commit messages likewise become very important. Looking at the output of gitk or git log –oneline might help you understand why. Also see A Note About Git Commit Messages for even more good ideas. You should also enforce your standards on commit messages, when possible, through hooks.

Certain large public projects demand this, others demand smushing all work into one large commit, and still others do not care. Having one or a small number of commits to pick is much easier than having to find one commit here, one there, and half of this other one. The latter approach makes your problem much much harder and typically will lead to merge conflicts when the donor branch is finally merged in. The downside to hiding the sausage making is the added time it takes to perfect the administrative parts of the developers job. If you think about it, movies are made this way. Scenes are shot out of temporal order, multiple times, and different bits are picked from this camera and that camera.

Without examining the analogy too closely, this is similar to how different git commits might be viewed. Bugs are inserted into the code, uncovered, patched over. Do keep up to date This section has some overlap with workflow. Exactly how and when you update your branches and repositories is very much associated with the desired workflow. Whenever I pull, under most circumstances I git pull –rebase.

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It makes history visualization much simpler and git bisect easier to see and understand. A specific circumstance in which you should avoid using git pull –rebase is if you merged since your last push. Another specific circumstance is if you are pulling from a non-authoritative repository which is not fully up to date with respect to your authoritative upstream. A rebase in this circumstance could cause the published history to be rewritten, which would be bad. Some people argue against this because the non-final commits may lose whatever testing those non-final commits might have had since the deltas would be applied to a new base. This in turn might make git-bisect’s job harder since some commits might refer to broken trees, but really this is only relevant to people who want to hide the sausage making. The reason this is not good is because it loses information.

Specifically it loses track of which branch is the first parent and which is not. If you don’t ever want to look back into history, then it does not matter. It will also compress any loose objects git has added since your last gc. It normally isn’t a major problem one way or another, but it might lead to confusion.

What Does “Fiat Best Practices” Mean?

If you don’t do it very often, the context for the stashed work will be forgotten when you finally do stumble on it, creating confusion. Do enforce standards Having standards is a best practice and will improve the quality of your commits, code-base, and probably enhance git-bisect and archeology functionality, but what is the use of a standard if people ignore them? Additionally, if you follow the commit-early-and-often-and-perfect-it-later philosophy that is promoted in this document, initial commits may not satisfy the hooks. Note that the update hook is examining files individually instead of providing whole-repository testing. Do use useful tools More than useful, use of these tools may help you form a best practice!

We already mentioned gitslave above, but it forms a great alternative to git-submodules when forming superprojects out of repositories you control. To quote the website: Gerrit is a web based code review system, facilitating online code reviews for projects using the Git version control system. Do integrate with external tools Increasing communication and decreasing friction and roadblocks to your developer’s work will have many advantages. If you make something easy, convenient, and useful to do, people might just well do it. This is pretty standard stuff, but still a best practice. Industry best practice suggests that you should have a bug tracking system. Well, I’m here to tell you that integrating your bug tracking system with git makes the two systems one thousand times more effective.

Bug 1234: Adjust the frobnoz down by . While it probably will be a side-effect of the git integration, ensuring that your ticketing system has an email interface for ticket creation and so that replies to ticket email get stored in the ticket are all very important for making a ticketing system useful and convenient to use. The easier a system is for people to use, the more likely they will use it. When you send out your commit announcements, make sure to hyperlink the bug tracker in the commit message, and likewise in the tracker message, hyperlink to the web view of the commit.